ECONOMY

Industrial output continues to slide

Industrial output in Greece posted its biggest decline in recent years in January 2009, according to National Statistics Service (NSS) data announced yesterday. The drop came to 10.2 percent year-on-year for the industry sector and to 12.6 percent in manufacturing, as the global financial crisis takes its toll on this country, too. January was the ninth consecutive month that saw a decline, with 27 out of 30 industrial sectors moving southward. The drop in manufacturing is attributed to the considerable fall in textiles production (down 22.2 percent) and in basic metals (28.9 percent). All but two of the 24 manufacturing sectors showed a decline in January. Producer prices also suffered, dropping for the fourth month in succession in February by 5.8 percent relative to the same month of 2008. That is mostly due to the 37.9 percent decline in the prices of oil-dependent products. However, these negative developments will help to further contain inflation, which is likely to drop to 1.3-1.4 percent in March from 1.6 percent in February.